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OPDL Schedule Structure Changes Will Reduce Travel

By OSA News, 12/15/14, 6:00PM EST


Changes are being made to the scheduling structure of to the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) for adoption in the 2015 season.

The League will move to a combined home/away and central venue format for next year. Each team in the eight-team Western and Eastern Conferences will play conference opposition twice (totalling 14 games): once home, and once away. The remaining eight games will be played against the opposite conference teams in interleague play, at central venues, to facilitate technical oversight, player assessment and scouting.

OPDL clubs will now be responsible for hosting their in-conference home games, which will take place on the same day for all OPDL teams (boys and girls U13 and U14). It will mean all OPDL teams will have at least seven home games. It will also give the host clubs the opportunity to create exciting spectator events for their club fans and supporters on the days when they will host four 
OPDL matches.

Interleague rounds will continue to be played at neutral, university venues that were successfully utilized in the 2014 season. This allows the OSA, CSA and other soccer development personnel to target resources on these dates for dedicated assessment.

OSA technical staff will still be on site on OPDL weekends monitoring play and observing adherence to OPDL technical standards.  The interleague dates will be the eight defined times during the year when OSA technical staff will be able to focus heavily on observing the development of the players and working with the club technical staff to drive development. This new system allows the League to focus resources more effectively as the OPDL scales out in size.

To mitigate against weather risk in the spring and late fall, the League will consist of a 22-round season next year, running from mid- May to early November. Periodized rest breaks during the season will remain, as per the 2014 season.

OPDL is Ontario's first standards-based high performance youth soccer league that completed its inaugural season at the end of November. The League received 74.3% satisfaction levels in its first year, with game day satisfaction levels of 87.5%. The League expands from U13 to include U14 in 2015. In early 2015, the League will invite applications for expansion of its current license base of 16 clubs for 2016 and 2017 seasons.